Tuesday, September 25, 2018

One-Syllable Living

Sit. Eat. Write. Play. Bike. Cook. Watch. Read.

My life in this time off from school has been reduced to one-syllable activities. And behold, it is good.

Sit means sitting zazen, my 45-year meditation practice that has not brought enlightenment, but does tune the body and breath to the cosmic body and breath to start my day.

Eat means breakfast, my ritual bowl of McCann’s oatmeal.

Write means the next paragraph or page or chapter in one of the two books I’m working on simultaneously. And of course, the inevitable e-mail, the still constant blogpost, the occasional Facebook paragraph.

Play means play piano, the daily routine paying off (as noted in last post).

Bike means get out after lunch to move the body, either bike to an errand or just to an interesting part of the city.

Cook means make dinner, something that is bringing much pleasure after doing it less and less because of travel and me working while my wife is retired. I’m no master chef, but have cooked some restaurant-worthy (and some better!) meals these last few weeks.

Watch means the after-dinner check-in with current events via Stephen Colbert or Trevor Noah or John Oliver, keeping abreast of the not-funny news with the dose of humor needed to make it bearable. Also can mean enjoying an old (or newer) movie taken out from the library.

Read means my usual fiction to keep me immersed in someone else’s story (I think I’ve confessed I’m a sucker for Sue Grafton mysteries!), but also some non-fiction (currently The Universal Sense: How Hearing Shapes the Mind) and occasionally some poetry (dipping back into Rilke at the moment).

Throw in a Friday sing at school with preschoolers and at the Jewish Home with the elders and an occasional teach— like two five-year old classes at school last week (Wonderful!) and a workshop this Friday for the teachers of Oakland Unified—and there you have it. A life of one-syllable activities.

And behold, it is good.

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